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Monday, December 14, 2009

Update on Class Action Settlement for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Recipients

Please help us spread the word about this class action settlement: Martinez v. Astrue

Recently a federal judge granted final approval of a settlement agreement which will end the Social Security Administration’s policy of denying or suspending benefits based on the mere existence of an outstanding arrest warrant.

1 – Make sure addresses are current!
Social Security is sending notices about this to folks but they need to be sure they have their addresses current.   Social Security Address change page:  https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/ICOA/coa001.jsp 

2 – Attached is a short and long version of a notice about the settlement...briefly:
If Social Security or the Veterans Administration stopped benefits because of an arrest warrant, they have to stop collecting overpayments and begin disbursing back benefits or overpayments collected.

There are the types of benefits affected:
§ Social Security
§ Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
§ Special Veterans Benefits (SVB)
3 – If you've experienced this, check to see if you might be in one of the THREE different groups.
Some people will have to re-apply for benefits, others will not.

4 – If you need help:
*  Call your local legal aid office   In Oklahoma:  http://www.legalaidok.org/
*  Call the Oklahoma Disability Law Center: http://www.oklahomadisabilitylaw.org/
*  Private lawyer (there is a fee based on back benefits)  1-800-431-2804

5 – This does NOT apply if you violated probation or parole or if the warrant was for flight or escape.

More information and regular updates about the settlement’s implementation, join the National Senior Citizens Law Center’s “Martinez Settlement Listserv” emailing Oakland@nsclc.org

Read a summary sheet to see if you might be eligible:  http://www.oklaw.org/link.cfm?2839
More information about the policy, the case and the settlement agreement, visit: www.nsclc.org/areas/social-security-ssi/Martinez-Settlement